Species At Risk

Hiking and Camping

How You Can Help Species at Risk

Ontario’s great outdoors will amaze you with spectacular scenery, towering forests, sparkling lakes and wild, winding rivers. Millions of campers and hikers are drawn to our wilderness areas and provincial parks every year. While you’re out there experiencing Ontario’s natural beauty and enjoying abundant opportunities for seeing wildlife, you can help to protect species at risk.

  • Before you go… Find out what species at risk live in the area you’ll be visiting so you’ll know what to watch out for.
  • Walk softly… Keep to designated trails for your own safety and to preserve natural areas and habitats. In areas without marked trails, walk carefully to avoid trampling fragile or rare vegetation.
  • Please don’t feed the animals...Fed animals can become habituated to artificial food sources, eat food that harms them, cause road accidents as they move to feeders, become a threat to pets or humans, and have an greater risk of passing on diseases or parasites.
  • What goes in, must come out…It’s important to keep food and garbage in sealed containers so as not to attract wildlife – and to take everything with you when you leave. Keep the land as natural as when you arrived for the next visitor and for wildlife.
  • It’s wild out there…For their own protection and well-being, keep your pets on a leash, or think about leaving them at home.
  • Be fire-wise… Protect our forests and other natural habitats by taking campfire safety precautions and following restricted fire zone advisories
  • Keep in touch… Help us track and monitor Ontario’s species at risk by letting us know when you think you’ve spotted one. Call your local Ministry of Natural Resources office or send your information to the Natural Heritage Information Centre website. If possible, share photos and precise location information.
  • Talk with an expert…many provincial parks have natural heritage educators who will be happy to tell you about the species at risk that may be nearby.
  • Enjoy from a distance…For your safety and theirs, try to avoid following or approaching wildlife. Some species are very sensitive to the presence of humans – especially during mating and nesting seasons.

Hiking and camping

New to camping?

Check out Ontario Parks’ Learn to Camp program to learn the outdoor skills you need for a safe and enjoyable camping trip.

Happy trails

For any kind of trail activity – day hiking, backcountry trekking, waterway or ATV – the Ontario Trails Council can point you in the right direction.


The Endangered Species Act


Contact your local ministry office


Often the best source of local information on species at risk is your nearest ministry office. Call with your questions or concerns.